Clarify HKIEd review call: lawmaker

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 12:00am

The government should justify its call for a judicial review of the findings of the commission of inquiry into allegations of political interference in the affairs of the Hong Kong Institute of Education, a legislator has said.

The Civic Party's Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said at the Legislative Council's education panel meeting on Thursday that the government should explain why it was questioning the findings of an independent inquiry.

'I would like the government to clarify its stance on institutional autonomy in this court case. I think we should know about that,' she said.

However, the Liberal Party's Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee said it was inappropriate for Legco to discuss the case because legal proceedings were under way.

The government applied for the judicial review last month alleging some of the report's findings were 'not only wrong in law and in principle but also affect the dealings between government officials and academic institutions in the future and in the formulation and implementation of education policies'.

The report concluded that former permanent secretary for education and manpower Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun acted improperly by demanding critics of government education policy be silenced.

Speaking after the panel meeting, Ms Eu said discussion on the government's understanding of academic freedom and education policy was one that should remain in the public domain. The government should not have called for a judicial review to draw the line between proper and improper conduct, she added.

Panel chairman Tsang Yok-sing said the committee would raise Ms Eu's request with the government.

The panel will hold monthly discussions on seven issues relating to academic freedom and institutional autonomy raised earlier this year.




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